The Mental Health Association of Wells County advocates mental wellness for all its citizens regardless of race, religion, age, sex, financial, or social position through educational programs and resources. Our hope is to erase the stigma associated with mental disorder.

223 W Washington Street, Suite 100 LL
Bluffton, IN 46714

(260) 824-1514


Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Mental Health Association of Wells County (MHAWC) to serve specific mental issues. These purposes are met through programs, materials, and referrals. We function with the support of our State and National Affiliates.


Sharon McMillan

Vice President

Paul Bonham
Pete Cole

June Grove

Gwen Payne
Ashley Stinson

Bill Hansen

Kay Manges

Jean Reef

Nancy Bonham

Melba Cole


Newsletter Archive

Spring 2007

Summer 2007

Winter 2007

Spring 2008

Summer 2008

Winter 2008

Spring 2009



Tara Brantley visited Wells County in October 2009 to discuss Domestic Violence.


The 2009 Gift lift was a success due to the help of volunteers. 


Congratulations Dianne Schwarzkopf, the 2009 MHA Bell Award recipient. 


More Information

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This Mental Health, non-profit, Association of Wells County advocates mental wellness for all its citizens regardless of race, religion, age, sex, financial, or social position through educational programs and resources. Our hope is to erase the stigma associated with mental disorder.

Mental health issues affect one out of every five citizens. They will experience at least one mental or addictive disorder in their lifetime. Presently, Mental Health disorders are considered the number one health issue in America - more than any physical health-related illness such as cancer or heart disease.

More than 900,000 Hoosier adults and up to 247,514 children in Indiana experience a mental disorder in a one year period. Only 28.5% of adults who need mental health and/or addiction treatment actually receive services.

The cost and treatment of mental illness such as depression, bi-polar, and schizophrenia, have an 80% success rate far surpassing success rates for many common physical diseases.


Mental Health America of Indiana
1431 N Delaware
Indianapolis, IN 46230
(317) 638-3501 : Phone
(800) 555-MHAI : Toll Free
(317) 638-3540 : Fax

National Mental Health America
2001 N Beauregard St, 12th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
(800) 969-NMHA : Phone
(703) 684-5968 : Fax


Hermina Weiking founded the Wells County Mental Health Association in the early 1950's. She realized there was a need to support the Vera Cruz Opportunity School and make donations to the Richmond State Hospital. Volunteers provided parties to as few as 15 to as many as 75 patients at the Fort Wayne School for the mentally handicapped. At the Vera Cruz school, residents learned to sew on a sewing machine and make aprons. These volunteers were called Gold Women and Gold Teens. Dand Steiner was the president.

During the 1960's, Anna Lee Ault, her mother, and grandmother were all members of the association who participated in the program called Adopt-a-Patient. This program was chaired by Dorothy Gitlin, who was involved in choosing a patient to write to and remembered on holidays and special days. Today its purpose remains the same, but the name was changed to "Friend to Friend". The Wells County Home Economics Clubs currently operate this program under the auspices of the Mental Health Association in Wells County.

Other programs were organized such as collecting suitcases for residents of the Logansport State Hospital and sending Christmas cards to every resident in nursing homes in Wells County (chaired by Rena Soper). Gwen Payne still sends cards to hospital patients who have birthdays each month. After phasing out volunteering in state hospitals another direction was taken. Through MHAWC Annual Gernaium sales and donations, each nursing home is allotted $200 in December to select something that would benefit everyone.

Presently, MHAWC has expanded its services again - "Issues and Insights" our quartlery newspaper was established in 2003 by Melba Cole and Nancy Bonham. Contributing members are Kaye Manges and Sharon McMillan. The newsletter promotes awareness regarding mental health issues, legislation, educational programs and projects, and coming events. In 2004, an educational committee was formed. Programs are geared towards mental health education in the schools, organizations, and the work place.

Education Programs

Our objectives are:

  1. To educate the general public about mental illness and mental health.
  2. To assume primary responsibility for implementation of mental health programs for school age children.
  3. To serve as primary liaison MHAWC with public and private schools.
  4. To assist with community programs, festivals, health fairs, etc.
  5. To serve as staff liaison on a standing committe of the MHAWC Board of Directors.
  6. Shall be responsible for recommending educational programs including public lectures, publications, professional training programs, and special events, which will contribute to the education, both of the general public and of special groups within the county. The committee shall make suggestions to and cooperate with the committee on Education and Public Relations of the State Assocation.
  7. Shall be members of the Mental Health ASsocation in Wells County. Dues $10.00.


Support Groups

Widow to Widow
Day: 2nd Monday of each month
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Corner Depot Restaurant

Widow to Widow is a local support group that enjoys an evening together with fellowship, a meal, and games.

Alzheimer's Support Group
Day: 1st Wednesday of each month
Location: First United Methodist Church
Phone: (260) 824-4244
In conjunction with MHAWC.


HUD 811 Program
The MHAWC is supportive of this program. the purpose of this program is intended to improve the overall quality of life for individuals who have a significant mental disorder by providing clean, safe, supervised, and secure housing to those individuals who are prone to living in inadequate, lower quality housing due to poverty.

Nursing Homes - Christmas Gift/Card
All the residents in the are nursing homes receive a Christmas card and each nursing home (5) is given a gift that most of the residents can enjoy throughout the year.

Christmas Gift Lift - Logansport State Hosp.
The Wells County area churches, individuals, and organizations support and donate monies for this project by purchasing requested gifts for the residents.

Other Programs
Suitcases for Logansport State Hospital.
Provide Free brochures and pamphlets to the citizens of Wells county.

Upcoming Events

Meetings have changed to 2nd Monday of the month, at 6:30 pm, Courthouse Annex (unless otherwise announced).  Anyone is welcome to attend! 


Organization Name Change

Soon, look for the Mental Health Association to be renamed Behavior and Resource Center of Wells County







Meeting Minutes Archive

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

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